HUD No. 06-127
October 4, 2006
HUD AWARDS BEAUMOUNT HOUSING AUTHORITY $20 MILLION TO REVITALIZE AGED PUBLIC HOUSING
Magnolia Gardens public housing complex and community to get facelift
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded a $20 million HOPE VI Revitalization grant to the Housing Authority of the City of Beaumont. The funding will be used to revitalize the public housing units at Magnolia Gardens, which suffered storm damage last year when Hurricane Rita devastated the city.
"Beaumont will join other cities across the country that have used this seed funding to give public housing residents more than just a roof over their heads," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, who announced the 2006 grants today. "This funding allows cities to build quality affordable housing and create safe, decent neighborhoods where families can thrive."
The housing authority will use the grant to replace the existing 195 public housing units at Magnolia Gardens with 149 public housing units. The agency also has plans to build 148 market-rate rental units, 46 affordable rental units and 37 market-rate homeownership units. Some of the new housing being constructed will be on the former fairgrounds site, less than a mile from Magnolia Gardens. BHA will also build a new community center with a computer center that will that give residents easy access to free, unlimited access to the Internet and software programs as well as free computer training and online job search assistance.
Joining Beaumont with a $20 million grant is the Easton (Pa.) Housing Authority and the Niagara Falls Housing Authority. The Kingsport (Tenn.) Housing Authority also received an $11.9 million grant. The funding awarded today totaled $71.9 million. The grantees were selected from a pool of 26 applications HUD received from public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country. Including this round of grants, HUD has awarded 237 HOPE VI Revitalization grants since 1993 to 127 cities that total $5.8 billion.
The National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing created the program in 1992 after it reported that approximately 86,000 public housing units in the U.S. needed revitalization. To date, nearly 150,000 aged public housing units have been demolished using HOPE VI and other HUD programs.
PHAs are competitively selected for these grants with an emphasis on the effectiveness and project readiness of their revitalization plans. HUD gives local housing authorities the flexibility to develop
revitalization plans that meet their local needs. A team of HUD public housing and revitalization specialists score applications based on several revitalization rating factors, including:
Capacity: The ability of the housing authority or developer to administer and manage completion of the revitalization effort.
Need for Revitalization: The severity of physical distress of the development.
Match/Leveraging: The ability of the housing authority to supplement the HOPE VI grant with funding from other sources - private, state or local government.
As part of today's award, the housing authority will pay relocation costs for residents as needed. Affected residents can relocate to other public housing or get a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) to subsidize their rent in privately owned housing. Relocated residents, who meet program requirements, are given the opportunity to move back to the newly constructed units. Alternatively, if residents choose not to return to public housing, they may keep their voucher. In addition, relocated residents will be provided with the same job training and other supportive services offered to families living in the revitalized development.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.